Apple allowed App transfers. What changed?
As we know, on Jun 11, 2013 Apple officially allowed App transfers from one seller to another. For someone who bough/sold app that would mean that existing app would be seamlessly transferred from one account to another, preserving app id, user base, reviews, ranking positions etc.
Before that significant change, to transition apps developers had such options:
1) Delete App on one account, and re-create it on another account. This would not preserve any rankings or userbase.
2) Transfer whole ItunesConnect developer’s account. That was viable for accounts who had only one single app. Sometimes developers specifically created new ItunesConnnect accounts if they planned to sell the app in the first place. I’m not sure if this was legitimate in point of view of Apple.
3) Some developers reported that it was possible to transfer Apps if they applied to Apple’s support engineers. Not to mention that process was complicated and frustrating, with no guarantee of success.
3*) There is another reason why some Apps change their Seller’s Name: in case if private developer (such as john Doe for example) decides to register a business name and associate his account with that business name (such as JohnDoeApps LTD). In that case all developer’s apps change their Seller’s Name in one single moment once its approved.
With new “App transfer” feature transferring Apps became hustle free, easy and legitimate, especially with a rise of such Apps marketplaces as http://apptopia.com and mobile apps Industry still growing overall.
I was curious, how many app transfers really happen in Appstore? So I’ve built a simple chart based on Statsios API to visualise seller changes.
Count of seller changes breakdown by day.
Only unique Seller name changes were considered. In other words, if some seller changed his account name from private name to business name, and it resulted in change of all his apps (say, ten), its counted as one, not ten.
What we are seeing here prior to June 11 is publishers changing their names to business names (that’s average 20-25 per day). After June 11, sellers started transferring apps, and average grew up to 100 changes per day.
It’s hard to tell for each case whether Seller name change is real app transfer or just private-to-business name change. Each particular case requires investigation.
For anyone interested to dig deeper - Statsios.com provides API calls to fetch all Appstore changes for any date starting from March 1st. It is possible to tell who, when and what was transferred.